About myself I am an undergraduate student at the American University in Cairo; this is my second semester in the AUC and I'm studying mechanical engineering.
Mission statement The mission of this magazine is to promote scientific literacy for teenagers. Nowadays, most of the teenagers do not know how to think scientifically. I will try as much as possible to introduce you to the basics and the process on how to think scientifically. After knowing the method and procedure it takes time of practicing to master scientific thinking. â€œScience is not learning facts, it is a system of studying the behavior and the structure of natureâ€?. Ruth Wilson, Promoting the Development of Scientific Thinking.
First of all what is scientific literacy? Scientific literacy is the understanding of the scientific basics and concepts that are required for personal decision making and to enable the person so participate productively socially and economically.
Scientific literacy is an important element in the education of a person. It can even help to improve the curriculum thus, improving the educational standard.
There are 6 steps in the process of scientific thinking. It is called the scientific thinking checklist.
In order to put predictions and assumptions the scientific checklist process must be used to get reliable results.
Now here is small puzzle about the checklist, see if you can get them all.
Teenagers get affected easily by other people’s opinions and beliefs, some even take “facts” from other people without any supporting evidence. As a person we need to think about any facts, opinions or news we receive. Scientific checklist help us do decided whether the information we received is reliable or not.
From an early age the person tend to ask himself question and seek answers. Science is in our daily live and it is in our hearts. “why is science literacy so important?” < http://www.letstalkscience.ca/aboutus/why-science > In an interview about scientific literacy in classrooms, Carol Brewer says that one of he most important thing we need to teach is how to ask a question. That is the root of scientific literacy. < http://www.actionbioscience.org/education/brewer.html >
Skepticism is the process of applying reasoning and critical thinking to determine the validity of an information. The scientific method requires skepticism for valid observations and information. As a teenager you need to use your common sense and think carefully about any information you receive; you need to apply reasoning and question yourself about the source from which you receive the information. Can you tell me the phrase that describe freethinking below in the puzzle? ECLNTLOZDIVPDUF ISGPFAOJANOFMON FDAFDJFZDUDCKLY KJYQIADYVJRRYMI AIJUIFKVCNWJBHU BTGCBERUETTQVLR UNDOGMATICJEUAS YXKMSHMWWYHKXGI USKMOOHUDPJIQGB HOFHSHICXAETSWK ZHHTPASXBXLCTOT LXOJYNTBLUAKAGG FOCLPPPHXHAVJXJ JJIXQXUPMADVEVA MUSMBDNXNFLWPBS
Dogmatism is the tendency to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others. To think scientifically the person must be undogamtic, he must be able to think freely without any bias. Circles around a person mind must be removed and penetrated to think constructively and freely.
Dogmatism might effect the conclusions about experiments negatively. Moreover, it may provide incorrect information about a fact or a topic. Try as much as you can to express your opinion freely and accept other people opinions, because maybe they are right and you are wrong.
Communication Communication between peers and professors is essential for a proper learning environment; also in determining conclusions about observations. When a group of scientists study and observe a certain phenomena they share their ideas or predictions, and together they may come up with a final prediction which can be tested. Every person has his way of thinking and when you group these different thinking methods you come up with amazing results.
I have mentioned undogmatism thinking and skeptical thinking because both are required for a constructive arguments and conversations. Science is a process unless you follow this process preciously you will not be able to come up with reliable explanations and conclusions.
Testing your hypothesis Hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a certain observation or a phenomenon. Testing process allow us to know whether your hypothesis correct or not. Scientists prove their hypothesis by ruling out other scientists' hypothesis and this can only be done by testing. Testing is not an easy process because they are a lot of variables to control and do adjust. Albert Einstein once said that â€œMany experiments may prove me right, but It take only one to prove me wrongâ€?. In my opinion the must important step in the scientific thinking process is testing. There are three types of experiments which are Controlled experiments, Natural experiments and Field experiments. Overall scientists can construct different types of experiments to test their hypothesis. Here is the link if you want to read more about the types of experiments. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiment#Con trolled_experiments
Can you try and finish this maze?
Here is a table about the factors contributing to scientific literacy
How about a little quiz to test your level of scientific literacy? Please answer either true or false. 1.Scientists usually expect an experiment to turn out a certain way. 2.Science only produces tentative conclusions that can change. 3.Science has one uniform way of conducting research called â€œthe scientific method.â€? 4.Scientific theories are explanations and not facts. 5.When being scientific one must have faith only in what is justified by empirical evidence. 6.Science is just about the facts, not human interpretations of them. 7.To be scientific one must conduct experiments. 8.Scientific theories only change when new information becomes available. 9.Scientists manipulate their experiments to produce particular results. 10.Science proves facts true in a way that is definitive and final. 11.An experiment can prove a theory true. 12.Science is partly based on beliefs, assumptions, and the no observable. 13.Imagination and creativity are used in all stages of scientific investigations. 14.Scientific theories are just ideas about how something works. 15.A scientific law is a theory that has been extensively and thoroughly confirmed. 16.Scientistsâ€™ education, background, opinions, disciplinary focus, and basic guiding assumptions and philosophies influence their perception and interpretation of the available data. 17.A scientific law will not change because it has been proven true. 18.An accepted scientific theory is an hypothesis that has been confirmed by considerable evidence and has endured all attempts to disprove it. 19.A scientific law describes relationships among observable phenomena but does not explain them. 20.Science relies on deduction (x entails y) more than induction (x implies y). 21.Scientists invent explanations, models or theoretical entities. 22.Scientists construct theories to guide further research. 23.Scientists accept the existence of theoretical entities that have never been directly observed. 24.Scientific laws are absolute or certain.
Answer key 1. T 2. T 3. F 4. T 5. T 6. F 7. F 8. F 9. T 10. F 11. F 12. T 13. T 14. F 15. F 16. T 17. F 18. T
19. T 20. F 21. T 22. T 23. T 24. F
0 wrong = A+ 1 wrong = A 2 wrong = A3 wrong = B+ 4 wrong = B 5 wrong = B6 wrong = C 7 wrong = D 8 or more wrong = F
This test is an indication on your knowing of the basics of scientific thinking.
Scientific thinking is not an easy process it requires practicing and patience to do it perfectly. You are now at a young age and you get affected easily by the surrounding environment and ideas. Try as much as possible to set your brain free and try to think as much as possible on every thing you observe, hear. Do not take something as granted upon receiving a news, fact or any piece of information; follow the scientific checklist and accept other people’s opinions and try to come up with a constructive argument because unstructured thinking doesn’t provide reliable results. You can seek your teacher’s and professors advice and you can practice scientific thinking with them. The aim of this magazine is to introduce you to the basics of scientific thinking but it doesn’t teach you how to practice it, because the practicing process requires personal experience and dedication. I hope you enjoyed my magazine and learned more about the process of scientific thinking. Thank you for reading.